Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What do you want?

Taken from the book A Year by the Sea; Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman

"What do you want? (She is asking about Christmas) We usually answer with some material object. Imagine if we said something like a better state of mind, or togetherness, or simply to be surrounded by laughter......

C.S. Lewis spoke of something he called "felt satisfaction," which he interpreted as " a quality of fullness .... an immediacy worth perpetuation." I try to imagine what that might be. Sitting here alone is satisfying enough, but the night would be far better if shared with another - with someone whose mood meets mine, who relishes moments, whose wonder remains untainted, who appreciates simple things and says so, who laughs much, indulges heartily, is spontaneous in spirit, is quick to embrace, and sees joy as duty!

Oh, dear, now I've gone too far. Who could ever be that way? Still just a few of these qualities would be enough. Isn't this what's missing...? I am astonished that my wants are attainable. What's more, they don't take money or power, just a little attitude change. So why isn't this within my grasp?

Aha, because grasping isn't the way - reaching perhaps, but not being overt about it. That's how I've failed in the past, wanting others to be a certain way and trying to push and cajole them in that direction. Good things seem just to happen along. The state of feeling satisfied occurs most often when I haven't sought it. If only I can break with fixed notions, I might see new possibilities in relationships. .....

..... I am in a frame of mind to wait and see rather than manipulate and direct. Living with nature has taught me the dignity of being without motive. "

Can we make it through this Christmas "without motive"? Can we be happy sharing our joy with those around us, not the things around us? Find pleasure in being where we are not in what we get or give?

What I know for sure is it has to start within us. We have to carry the feeling with us and share it with others. This is my personal challenge these next two days.

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